Friday, March 27, 2009

March 27

“The US is effectively an island divided from ... Europe and Asia by two oceans. … But this is not the same in virtual worlds.”

--New-media guru Joshua S. Fouts; Fouts photo from Twitter

Clinton strikes humbler tone, and it plays well in Mexico - Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers: “[I]n a two-day trip through Mexico that ended Thursday, Secretary of State Clinton has served up humility at every stop. … Clinton's tone is part of a conscious public diplomacy effort by the Obama administration to change world opinion of the U.S., which sank deeply during his predecessor's eight years, due to the war in Iraq, the treatment of detainees and other actions. The approach by Clinton, who's on her first trip as top U.S. diplomat to Latin America, seemed to be playing well.”

Mexico: Day Two, Santa Hilaria - Sarah, All Things Hillary: “Looking fresh in a kick-ass bright red pantsuit, the Secretary began her day at Mexico City's Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe. … It seems that Hillary's overall tone is part of a conscious public diplomacy effort by the Obama administration to change world opinion of the U.S., which sank deeply under Bush, and it seemed to be going very well. Mexico, like many other countries in the hemisphere, has often bristled at what it sees as arrogance and hypocrisy from its larger, richer and more populous neighbor and Mexicans have objected to U.S. news coverage of Mexico that's focused solely on the drug problem.”

To Rebuild U.S.-Muslim World Relations, Obama Is Not Enough - Stephen R. Grand and Kristin M. Lord, Huffington Post: “President Obama has moved rapidly to mend the frayed relationship between the United States and the Muslim world … Unfortunately, President Obama cannot repair this important relationship alone. To promote U.S. interests -- including a stable, prosperous, and secure Middle East -- our country must also build a dense network of personal relationships and partnerships between Americans and Muslims globally. … As America learned during the Cold War, advancing national security interests requires a grand strategy that encompasses military force, diplomacy, economic statecraft -- and also public diplomacy. … To more fully engage the private sector, not just in the Muslim world but globally, a recent Brookings study recommends the creation of a new public-private organization called the USA World Trust.”

Did Iran Reject Obama's Overture? Phil Wilayto, t r u t h o u t: Comment byt "theprogressiveanalyst" to this article:

“Obama has to bring around domestic US opinion that has been fed the simplistic anti-Iran rhetoric common in US media. It is going to take several years of good and careful (and non-public) diplomacy to normalize relations. We need to recognize Iran's legitimate self-interest and vice versa.” Image from

Concerned about religious freedom Eric Fingerhut - Capital J: “Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan were among the eight countries designated as 'Countries of Particular Concern' [CPC] for their religious freedom violations, according to a press release from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom [USCIRF]. … Felice Gaer, USCIRF chair … noted … ‘As it reviews the previous Administration's CPC designations, we hope the Obama Administration will recognize the added value that CPC status can bring to American public diplomacy on human rights.’”

What's In a Name? - Tadd Sholtis, The Quatto Zone: “As a recovering humanities major, I believe that words matter, but I think that words are beginning to matter too much to too many journalists and opinion mongers, resulting in obsessive political navel-gazing that does a real disservice to the public. Read the section on the Great GWOT Debate from Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell's press conference yesterday to see where we're headed. Part of me wants to believe that this lengthy exchange was about how the administration might be attempting to reframe current conflicts to chart a different direction in public diplomacy. But a bigger part of me really believes that the fate of GWOT is about … uglier and far less important things.” Image from

UW-Madison to Sign Historic Agreement with Iraqi University - International Studies, International Studies at UW-Madison: “On Monday, March 30, UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin will meet by videoconference with Tikrit University President Maher Saleh Allawi to sign a memorandum of understanding pledging to explore and pursue opportunities for educational and scientific cooperation. … As part of a larger endeavor to promote collaboration between U.S. and Iraqi universities, Tikrit University and U.S. Embassy public diplomacy officer Brett Bruen, a 2002 alumnus, contacted UW-Madison for a possible partnership in January. Bruen is attached to the Salah ad Din Provincial Reconstruction Team, which is responsible for the Tikrit area.”

Art in Embassies Exhibit Opens in Belgrade; Contemporary Art by American Women in Belgrade: Dragana Nikolic, Private publiC eXperimental: “On April 15th, Ambassador Cameron Munter and his wife Ms. Marilyn Wyatt opened an exhibition of Contemporary Art by American Women, provided through the Art in Embassies program, in their residence.

Ms. Wyatt spoke about American art during the sixties and seventies, the period that the majority of the collection represents, the role of women in art at the time, and the particular artists she selected for this exhibition, including renowned artist Judy Chicago and Mirjana Ugrinov, an American artist of Serbian descent. … Established by the United States Department of State in 1964, the Art in Embassies Program is a global museum that exhibits original works of art by U.S. citizens in the public rooms of approximately 180 American diplomatic residences worldwide. These exhibitions, with art loaned from galleries, museums, individual artists, and corporate and private collections, play an important role in our nation's public diplomacy.” Image from posting.

Budget Deliberations To Decide Fate Of Cocoms’ Named Info Ops - InsideDefense [subscription, not available to your PDPBR compiler]: Citation from Google: “They [?] tap the Internet, radio programs, military information support teams that travel to US embassies supporting public diplomacy efforts, training to help ...”

Muslim-Christian group wants to help Obama prepare the way - Zimbabwe Star: Comment by reader G Hastings: “The prospect of electoral victories by hard-line Islamists is dimming the hope that promoting democracy will produce moderate regimes and good relations with the United States. And attempts to win ‘hearts and minds’ through public diplomacy have not yielded significant results.”

NATO Metro - Nicholas Fiorenza, Ares: A Defense Technology Blog: “NATO's Public Diplomacy Division is trying to reach out to a wider public, for example launching a TV channel and producing documentaries. Last year, it hired Michael Stopford, who was responsible for reputation management at Coca Cola, as deputy assistant secretary general for strategic communications services.”

03/24/09 - Cuaderno de Cuba (Miami) - Aclaración [de Thomas Shannon] - Cuba-L Direct News from Cuba: “A/S [State Department Assistant Secretary] Shannon did not say that the Obama Administration is looking for new ways to engage Cuba -- he said that it was working to remove restrictions on family travel and remittances and exploring other possibilities to promote ties with the people of Cuba. … Thank you for your attention to these corrections. Best regards, Heide Bronke Fulton Public Diplomacy Advisor and Spokesperson Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs” Shannon Image from

Pointless Resistance to Public Diplomacy: China Blocks YouTubepublic diplomacy journal: “The most popular online video site, YouTube, has been blocked in China, according to parent company Google. The action, which has not been explained by the Chinese goverment, is rumored to be a response to the posting of a video by the Tibetan government in exile in which Chinese police officers are shown aggressively beating Tibetans after riots last year. … In the age of public diplomacy, increasingly, publics are not defined by their national affiliation, but rather by similarities that often transcend national borders. The communication, whether through text, images, or video, between individuals in different parts of the world had resulted in a reconfiguration of global publics. Yet, with this action, China once again seems stubbornly determined to break up publics by the national borders that no longer serve to contain them.” Image from posting.

China's irrepressible modern art scene: Contemporary artists don't shy from expressing their humor, subversiveness, and originality despite the country's more austere official image -

April Austin:Christian Science Monitor. Image from article.

China deploying its own lama in its battle over Tibet - Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers: “ In the propaganda war to implant its views of Tibet as widely as possible, China increasingly is deploying a lanky 19-year-old Tibetan with rimless glasses, a hint of a mustache and a husky voice. Beijing anointed the Tibetan, Gyaltsen Norbu, more than a decade ago as the latest incarnation of the Panchen Lama, the No. 2 leader in the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy, even though many Tibetans consider him a fake.”

First: Communication Infrastructure, then Blog – Manith, Perspectives on Public Diplomacy: “So as it was brought up in class, ‘who is the public in public diplomacy?’ – For the case of blogs, I would say it would be for the group of people who are educated and able to read and they are part of a certain demographic group that can afford the Internet and time to read blogs.” Image from

The New Diplomacy - Samuel Ntiamoah, The New Diplomacy: The Reflective Blogs of the Students on the New Diplomacy Module at London Metropolitan University: “The concept of the New diplomacy primarily consists of 'para diplomacy', public diplomacy and multilateral diplomacy. Although they are arguably, equally relevant and interrelated; acting as 'vehicles of transparency' between state operations and the public, their uniqueness is commensurate to their [relative] impacts on society.”

Russia Today - kuplu_dushu, Image of Russia: “Today Russia seeks to restore international broadcasting with two purposes: to improve the image of the country abroad and provide a 'Russian perspective' of the world and national news. It is the question of this study whether Russia Today TV is propaganda, a public diplomacy project launched by the Russian government, or an independent media covering events with a great amount of impartiality. It is also questioned which model was chosen for the new channel to follow: the model of the U.S. propaganda TV channel Voice of America or the model of the relatively independent broadcasters CNN and BBC.” NOTE: This item was evidently written two years ago. Image from

Inside the Iraq War: A review of War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism, by Douglas J. Feith - Stanley Renshon, Claremont Institute: “[T]elling, and sobering, is Feith's observation that Rumsfeld added many new programs and decision centers to deal with what he saw as the new circumstances of the post- 9/11 world. The State Department remained relatively unchanged institutionally. Rumsfeld, not Powell, championed the 'public diplomacy' aspect of the war, and that important mission, a natural domain of the State Department, still languishes.”

U.S Africa Command Members Discuss Role of Women During History Month - Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs: “Maria Tamburri … [is] chief of strategic communication in the Outreach Directorate, who previously served as senior advisor for public diplomacy and public affairs at the Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.”


Preparation for the Written Exam and the Oral Assessment - CliffsTestPrep Foreign Service Office Exam. Below image pertaining to oral assessment from

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